In the startup world, the term tech is used in a lot of different ways. But coming from a scientific background, Robert Wetzker knows the nuance and intricacies that come entangled with the word.
Before starting his startup Aklamio, a referral marketing platform, Wetzker dreamed of becoming a robotics professor. But after completing his doctoral thesis in “graph-based recommendation” and time spent working as a freelance data analyst, he instead chose an entrepreneurial path in 2011.
Today, the company provides referral marketing for more than 3,000 brands across Europe. Aklamio’s technology enables customers to refer their friends via any number of next-generation tools, like Facebook, Twitter and mobile messaging app, such as WhatsApp.
Aklamio is working to bypass the thousands of branded advertising messages that consumers are see each day by leveraging a natural tendency for person-to-person sharing.
“When choosing co-founders, it should be people who you like working with. It’s not just about having someone who is excellent at what he does. Since you will be spending more time with them than with your family, you should choose carefully.”
Having survived the hurdles that come as a first-time founder in the early years of his company, Wetzker has plenty of insight to share almost six years after he started Aklamio. In this episode of Startup Notes, he describes why it is important to find one good investor, why you need to have patience, why you should focus on your core product early on and why you should think twice about who you start a company with.
Here are the other topics covered in this podcast:
[01:15 – 02:39] On the balance between private life and entrepreneurship
[02:40 – 04:34] On Aklamio’s services and how he got started with the company
[04:35 – 05:58] On the acquisition of the startup Firal, which strengthened Aklamio’s position in Europe
[05:59 – 07:50] On the merger and acquisition process between Aklamio and Firal
[07:51 – 08:18] On Aklamio’s biggest challenges
[08:19 – 09:43] On which three tools were most important during creation and growth of his startup
[09:44 – 10:52] What he would do differently and what he would repeat if he started a company again
[10:53 – 11:51] What their team did right for Aklamio
[11:52 – 13:25] Which management decisions a founder must be very conscious about
[13:26 – 14:37] Suggestions for students trying to identify and realize their business ideas
[14:38 – 16:15] Growth areas in online marketing
[16:16 – 17:14] The best advice that he was ever given
[17:15 – 19:41] How to successfully convince a business angel to invest in your startup
[19:42 – 21:26] His top three pieces of advice for first-time founders
[21:27 – 23:29] On what to look for when hiring new employees
[23:30 – 24:52] Open job positions and what they are look for in new hires at Aklamio
This text originally appeared on Startup Notes.